The Edict of Milan

The Edict of Milan (313CE) had a profound impact on virtually every aspect of the Christian church. After this edict, Byzantine art emerged as the first Christian style. Its purpose was didactic, to teach the people through pictures. Pope Gregory the Great is credited with saying: “Painting can do for the illiterate what writing does for those who can read”.22 This edict also had an impact on the icon. Prior to Constantine, the art of the church was hidden. After 313CE, it was possible that the art of the church could become public.